Investing: Don’t Go It Alone!

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“No man is an island,” John Donne famously wrote in 1624.

This statement couldn’t be more true in the real estate investing world.  We are blessed to work in an industry where our income potential is only limited by our own diligence and imagination.  How we get there and who we surround ourselves with, however, makes all the difference in the world.  A “go it alone” mentality will result in many unnecessary bumps and bruises along the way.  If you happen to make it big, you will say, “Gee, it’s lonely at the top!”

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A Good Team

A good team will make the journey towards the success of your real estate business much smoother and more enjoyable.

In our business model we have a team of people who are experts in their field to help ensure our success.

Title company/escrow officer:

  A good title company can save you time and money.  We insist on using our title company and escrow agent on every transaction.  They have worked miracles with inheritance deals, cloudy titles, and cranky buyers and sellers.  In one instance, our escrow agent saved us from a potentially bad deal by running a title search on a property for us in advance and catching a huge IRS lien on the property.  Just like the existence of bad dry cleaners, there are also bad title companies and agents.  More than once when we were forced to use another title company, errors were made (usually in regards to taxes) that came back to bite us later.

Banker/Loan Officer:

  We have a spectacular relationship with a local bank who works with us on our flip projects.  I say “works with us”, but honestly, our loan officer feels is more like one of our LLC members than just our banker.  We’ve built this relationship over the past 5 years of working together.  He’s watched us grow as a company and has gone to bat for us with the board of directors at the bank.  We choose to close many deals using financing in order to reserve our cash.  Because of the relationship we’ve built with him, he literally can close deals for us in 8-12 business days making the need to pay cash due to a time crunch usually unnecessary.

CPA:

Unless you are one, a good CPA is mandatory!  Do not try to show up at your local H&R Block with your shoe box full of receipts and expect all to go well for you.  If you are doing more than zero flips a year, you need someone who is up to date on tax codes, deductions, and exemptions.  You will save yourself time and money.  Additionally, you will also reduce your risk of being on the receiving end of an IRS audit.  If you end up being audited, and you hired a good CPA, you will be able to rest in the knowledge that all your i’s were dotted and t’s crossed.

Other Investors in Your Niche:

Every investor of every niche needs a trusted and experienced “sounding board”.  We have the best one in the world!  Throughout any given week, an investor will encounter a myriad of challenging situations and have to make important and oftentimes quick decisions.  How great it is to have someone you can call quickly and say, “What would you do in this situation?”, and get an honest and wise answer!   Reach out to someone in your niche and preferably in your area and build a relationship.  You will thank me later!

Of course we also have a great sub list of people who we work with over and over again on our projects.  The above list is certainly not exhaustive but is definitely important when building and running your business.  Finally, if I may offer one other piece of advice.  Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.  Choose carefully.” Find people whose imagination is bigger than yours.  Individuals who refuse to allow the word “no” and “can’t” to be a part of their vocabulary.  Surround yourself with knowledgable, positive people and watch your business soar.

Happy Investing!

Photo: seyed mostafa zamani

About Author

Katherine Grote, co-founder of I Buy Austin Houses.com, (Google+) has been involved in real estate for 7 years. Through her experience, Katherine has gained the expertise to sell a home fast. With experience in short sales, REO's, multi-family, and rentals, Katherine is a well-rounded licensed Realtor as well as an avid investor in residential properties.

2 Comments

  1. IMO, you forgot a really important team member: a licensed appraiser! investors should definitely know what the property is currently worth prior to committing to that investment!

    • Terri,
      You are so right about determining value! I am a licensed agent and member of our local board so we are able to pull comps even before making an offer. At least here in Austin, I am amazed at the flucuation in appraised values given by licensed appraisers. It’s almost like they are not looking at the same comps we are.

      Thanks for reading!

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